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Mister Pip (2006)

by Lloyd Jones

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,3501773,275 (3.79)1 / 499
On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, on which survival is a daily struggle, eccentric Mr. Watts, the only white man left after the other teachers flee, spends his day reading to the local children from Charles Dickens's classic Great Expectations.
  1. 80
    Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (cbl_tn, HelenGress)
    cbl_tn: Mister Pip explores the reading and interpretation of Great Expectations in a late 20th century South Sea island culture in the midst of a civil war.
  2. 20
    Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2810michael)
  3. 20
    Small Island by Andrea Levy (kathrynnd)
  4. 53
    Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Booksloth)
  5. 21
    The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (Booksloth)
  6. 10
    Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2810michael)
  7. 10
    The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (Booksloth, 2810michael)
  8. 00
    Jack Maggs by Peter Carey (suzecate)
    suzecate: both novels that revisit Great Expectations
  9. 00
    Wanting by Richard Flanagan (2810michael)
    2810michael: Mostly because of the role of Charles Dickens in both books...
  10. 00
    Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson (kathrynnd)
  11. 00
    Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard (bnbookgirl)
    bnbookgirl: tiny tim all grown up
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English (164)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  French (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (176)
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
Mister Pip by the New Zealand author Lloyd Jones offers a story of how one brave but unassuming man keeps his village together during a time of brutal civil war through his lessons to the town’s children. HIs biggest interest is in the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens with which he mesmerizes the town’s children while the unspeakable horrors of war surround their tiny village.
The teacher, Mr. Watts had been an enigma to the town as its only white resident amid a clan of black local residents. He is an unlikely hero, yet provides the emotional rudder for the town’s people as they come into the crosshairs of two competing and ruthless jungle warriors.
His love of Dickens invades the hearts and souls of the children, most notably central character Matilda who never loses her interest of passion for Dickens.
The war surrounding the village is brutal. The towns people lose all of their possessions to the rebel force which later returns to even destroy their homes. Later in the story, the rival force wrecks even more havoc, scarring the children with nightmarish memories they will struggle with for the rest of their lives.
The book is strong in its portrayal of war, of the poverty of native peoples, of the beliefs and superstitions of the people and it portrayal of the violence they endure.
The book converts through its story a love of the works of Charles Dickens which he has portrayed through this engaging story.
I came across the book while visiting New Zealand where I asked a used book store owner for his recommendation. I was able to read the entire novel during the long airline flight I had after my visit to this gorgeous island nation had ended. Thus I returned home with both gift of a fine vacation, a good book and an author I would not have experienced had I not stopped into that bookstore. ( )
  PaulLoesch | Apr 2, 2022 |
i dont remembe r ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
The power of a story; and learning history and culture. What could be better!
  PIBL | Jul 26, 2021 |
Uplifting but sad and not a book I will forget in a hurry. There are some great comments on the power of good books and reading and it certainly makes me want to check out "Great Expectations" again. Highly recommended. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
Mister Pip by the New Zealand author Lloyd Jones offers a story of how one brave but unassuming man keeps his village together during a time of brutal civil war through his lessons to the town’s children. HIs biggest interest is in the book Great Expectations by Charles Dickens with which he mesmerizes the town’s children while the unspeakable horrors of war surround their tiny village.
The teacher, Mr. Watts had been an enigma to the town as its only white resident amid a clan of black local residents. He is an unlikely hero, yet provides the emotional rudder for the town’s people as they come into the crosshairs of two competing and ruthless jungle warriors.
His love of Dickens invades the hearts and souls of the children, most notably central character Matilda who never loses her interest of passion for Dickens.
The war surrounding the village is brutal. The towns people lose all of their possessions to the rebel force which later returns to even destroy their homes. Later in the story, the rival force wrecks even more havoc, scarring the children with nightmarish memories they will struggle with for the rest of their lives.
The book is strong in its portrayal of war, of the poverty of native peoples, of the beliefs and superstitions of the people and it portrayal of the violence they endure.
The book converts through its story a love of the works of Charles Dickens which he has portrayed through this engaging story.
I came across the book while visiting New Zealand where I asked a used book store owner for his recommendation. I was able to read the entire novel during the long airline flight I had after my visit to this gorgeous island nation had ended. Thus I returned home with both gift of a fine vacation, a good book and an author I would not have experienced had I not stopped into that bookstore. ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 18, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 164 (next | show all)
if “Mister Pip” is preachy — and it is — it’s also a book with worthwhile thoughts to impart. Mr. Jones’s ability to translate these thoughts into the gentle, tropical, roundabout idiom of his setting (“braids remind us that sometimes it is hard to know where goodness ends and badness begins”) turns out to be genuinely affecting.
added by NinieB | editNew York Times, Janet Maslin (pay site) (Sep 17, 2007)
 
Jones covered it as a journalist, and this delicate fable never shies away from the realities of daily life shadowed by violence..... In this dazzling story-within-a-story, Jones has created a microcosm of post-colonial literature, hybridising the narratives of black and white races to create a new and resonant fable. On an island split by war, it is a story that unites....There is a fittingly dreamy, lyrical quality to Jones's writing, along with an acute ear for the earthy harmonies of village speech... Mister Pip is the first of Jones's six novels to have travelled from his native New Zealand to the UK. It is to be hoped that it won't be the last.
 
added by lucyknows | editscis (pay site)
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lloyd Jonesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hyllienmark, OlovTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riera, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
'Characters migrate.' Umberto Eco
Dedication
To my family
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Everyone called him Pop Eye.
Quotations
"...you cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames." (page 155)"
"A Prayer was like a tickle. Sooner or later God would have to look down to see what was tickling his bum."
I do not know what you are supposed to do with memories likes these. It feels wrong to want to forget. Perhaps this is why we write these things down, so we can move on."
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Wikipedia in English (1)

On a copper-rich tropical island shattered by war, on which survival is a daily struggle, eccentric Mr. Watts, the only white man left after the other teachers flee, spends his day reading to the local children from Charles Dickens's classic Great Expectations.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
'You cannot pretend to read a book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breathe. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.'

Bougainville. 1991. A small village on a lush tropical island in the South Pacific. Eighty-six days have passed since Matilda's last day of school as, quietly, war is encroaching from the other end of the island.

When the villagers' safe, predictable lives come to a halt, Bougainville's children are surprised to find the island's only white man, a recluse, re-opening the school. Pop Eye, aka Mr Watts, explains he will introduce the children to Mr Dickens. Matilda and the others think a foreigner is coming to the island and prepare a list of much needed items. They are shocked to discover their acquaintance with Mr Dickens will be through Mr Watts' inspiring reading of Great Expectations.

But on an island at war, the power of fiction has dangerous consequences. Imagination and beliefs are challenged by guns. Mister Pip is an unforgettable tale of survival by story; a dazzling piece of writing that lives long in the mind after the last page is finished.
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Average: (3.79)
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1 15
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921145579, 1921520248

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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